Scientific Consensus: Is It Safe to Rely On?

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In summary, scientific consensus is not a fixed concept and it can change over time. However, decisions still need to be made based on the best conclusions drawn from the evidence available at the time. It is possible that in some cases, when scientific consensus changes, it is because there is better evidence that was previously not accepted. The validity of consensus science depends on the premise that it is the best supported by the evidence, which may not always be the case.
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Scientific consensus as described by Wiki,

Is not some thing that is set in stone, as at the bottom of the wiki article shows SC can change, so is it safe to make decisions on the findings of SC?
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We have to make decisions based on something, so if not on the best conclusions we can draw from the evidence available at the time, then what?
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matthyaouw said:
We have to make decisions based on something, so if not on the best conclusions we can draw from the evidence available at the time, then what?

Is it true that the evidence is the best available at the time, the consensus was the best at the time, but where SC changed there was better evidence, it had just not been accepted.
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Consensus science is only valid if the premise that whatever is scientific consensus is that which is best supported by the evidence is true (which is often a reasonable premise, but not necessarily always true).

1. What is scientific consensus?

Scientific consensus refers to the general agreement among scientists in a particular field about a certain topic or theory. It is based on a large body of evidence and research, and is subject to change as new evidence is discovered.

2. How is scientific consensus determined?

Scientific consensus is determined through a rigorous process of peer review and replication of experiments. It involves the evaluation and critique of data and methods by other experts in the field before a conclusion is reached.

3. Is scientific consensus always accurate?

While scientific consensus is generally considered to be the most reliable source of information, it is not infallible. It is possible for new evidence to emerge that challenges previous conclusions, leading to a shift in scientific consensus. However, this is a natural and necessary part of the scientific process.

4. Can scientific consensus be influenced by bias?

Like any human endeavor, scientific research can be influenced by bias. However, the peer review process and replication of studies helps to minimize the impact of bias on scientific consensus. Additionally, scientists are trained to recognize and mitigate their own biases.

5. Why is scientific consensus important?

Scientific consensus provides a foundation of knowledge and understanding that is essential for making informed decisions. It allows us to confidently trust in the validity of scientific findings and use them to inform policies and practices that impact our lives.

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